Unpacked Or Just Things Shoved Where They Fit?

Once again my planned blog post has been pushed aside as another more pressing issue has come to mind.

For those who are not familiar with my previous posts we moved to a new apartment last year. We had no set date so I had us pretty much packed on standby by the end of January and we moved in April. We unpacked all the loungeroom/kitchen stuff pretty quickly (more the work of Mr StitchNSew) which was fortunate as Mr StitchNSew had surgery in July. What took longer was all my craft stuff as only I could unpack it. I have unpacked all but 9 boxes which contain my craft fabrics (non dressmaking fabrics) and the tubs they go in. Saying that there is a difference between unpacking and putting things the way you want them to be to unpacking and shoving things where they fit. My unpacking is the latter of the two. I went through boxes, pulled stuff out and stuck it where fitted. I did get a fair bit of sewing time after work and on weekends done after the move but I never focused on how I had or where I had things set up. The rooms and set up in the new place is completely different to the old place, even the book cases I store things on are different as we completely switched things around and I have different ones now. My yarn supplies are the only things I have sorted but even those still need work. Although Mr StitchNSew tells me I have plenty of time to sort out my craft stuff I know if I don’t address it soon I never will. In recent weeks I’ve done a bit of sewing so feel that I’m on track with my gift making for the year so I think now is the time to focus on sorting stuff out or at least make a start on it.

 

Years ago I brought the book Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter and read it at the time picking up a few ideas. In 2019 I decluttered a lot of my craft stuff including books as I didn’t want to move stuff I wasn’t using. I shudder to think how many more boxes I would’ve had if I didn’t do my mega declutter. I kept this book and read it again. Even if you are not a quilter the book has some great advice as you can incorporate it to any craft. I got some good ideas and now I have a clear place to start.

My craft set up is a little unique to most. Most people’s sewing machine isn’t in the middle of their lounge room and few would have to worry about the position of their cutting table in terms of accessing the fridge or wheelchair path. Not many are lucky enough to have a craft vault (tiny room with built in shelves) either. Some areas in the new place were obvious places for my craft supplies like the craft vault. others seem to have just developed themselves such as shelf on the book case in the lounge. My areas to focus on are

  • Sewing Machine Cabinet
  • Trolley
  • Cutting Table
  • Vault
  • Shelf Nook
  • Chair
  • Wardrobe
  • Study/Spare Room

Looking at each area I asked myself the following questions

  • Current – What is currently going on the area?
  • Plan – What is my plan for the area?
  • To Do – What needs to be done to change from current to plan?

Sewing Machine Cabinet
Current – Has WIPs, random craft supplies, gets dusty, no room to work on projects so I need to shift things around when I sew
Plan – Have the area clear and dust free. Have my most used tools within reach.
To Do – Make a dust cover for machine, sort what I want to keep in the side shelves/bins. Remove half finished projects and craft supplies

Trolley
Current – Sits next to fridge. Has random supplies on different shelves. Some items are grouped together. Can’t easily find things. Things fall. Stuff gets dumped on it
Plan – Have specific areas on the different levels for different things. Use the side area of fridge as a magnetic board for notes. Have it clutter free
To Do – Buy clips for fridge. Remove all items and sort into different areas. Put items away in other areas that don’t need to be on it.

Cutting Table 
Current – The top mostly is clear of clutter. Cabinet space beneath has WIP’s and patterns, some tools. Table is moved about when Mr StitchNSew takes wheelchair out
Plan – Set a limit on WIPs and have them in some sort of container. Use the cabinet space more efficiently. Have top clear of clutter so top can be folded down easy or table pushed easily to access wheelchair
To Do – Decide on how I want to contain WIPs. Remove all WIP’s and complete them or find container to put them in. Check what other items I can store there

Chair
Current – Has yarn and sewing WIP’s
Plan – Use it as a chair to craft and watch tv
To Do – Finishing sewing WIP and 1 yarn WIP, move other yarn WIP to different area. Remove any items from chair

Shelf Nook
Current – Dumped yarn projects that need photographing. Has yarn, hooks/needles from previous projects
Plan – Place for my yarn butlers and yarn bowl. Room for a couple of project bags with WIP’s
To Do – Photograph finished projects, put away items from previous projects.

Vault
Current – Some shelves has fabrics by type. Some shelves have craft fabrics just shoved in. Has pieces for my QAYG project cut out or fabrics ready to ironed and cut out. Pattern box has some which I won’t use. Some fabric for gifts later this year are stuffed on shelves. Rolls of interfacing and previous taped PDF’s are in corner. Has some items on top shelf which could be moved to wardrobe. Has washed craft fabrics which have been used in projects since the move. Has box of knit scraps.
Plan – Long term is to measure each fabric and document it so I know what I have. Short term just only have dressmaking fabrics and craft fabrics for future projects on shelves. Have shelves neat and not overflowing. Store interfacing and PDF’s neatly. Have area to sit and look through pattern box.
To Do – Remove items that don’t need to be there. Finish ottoman (current WIP) Move QAYG project to box in study/spare to free up shelf space. Go through patterns and remove any that won’t get made

Wardrobe
Current – Drawers has clothing and knitwear in them. Have to move spare crutch and tablecloth roll just to access anything. Shelves contain knitwear, random craft and fitness items. Has tubs of yarn which is my good yarn. Some hanging frames are broken apart. Has hanging bag of sewing tools and bag of zippers. Finished gifts placed on top of yarn bins. Has box on top shelf of fabrics. and jigsaw puzzles
Plan – Only have the area for craft supplies. Shelves to be organised. Only keep tools I’m going to use
To Do – Sort out hanging bag and cull what I’m not going to use. Find a place for clothing and knitwear in other wardrobe. Cull items from top shelf. Give away one puzzle and do other. Move spare items to storage cage

Study/Spare Room
Current – Craft fabrics in boxes. Old dryer which didn’t get sold prior to move. Has some fitness equipment. Craft supplies on shelves in no real order. Has rubbish not yet taken down to bin room. Has fabrics culled waiting to be offered to friend. Has a couple of boxes not fully unpacked (crafted related and not) Small bookshelf has some study supplies on it but not all. Has mirror which can’t be accessed due to boxes. Bags of stuffing everywhere. Has unused fan in corner. A box of yarn which could be sorted and put with other yarn. Has box of electrical cords. Some items are in boxes but the lids don’t close properly. Have trouble getting chair through doorway
Plan – Have items on shelves neatly and fully accessible with some sort of coverage to prevent dust. Mirror facing out so it can be used. Have craft fabrics arranged neatly in boxes. Have study items all in one area. Have easy access to move chair in and out of room
To Do – Unpack and sort craft fabrics in orderly manner in small storage tubs. Put together printer and move all study items to study bookshelf. Unpack all remaining boxes. Move box of electrical cords. Take down all rubbish to bin room. Sort yarn box and put QAYG project in it. Decide if shelving is needed for craft fabric boxes. Sell old dryer. Sort out shelving and put the most used supplies within reach. Make curtains for the shelves.

Clearly the biggest area I have the study/spare Room. In the old place my craft fabrics were stored in a garage on shelves. Originally my plan was to once again have them on the same shelving in our storage cage but using the fabrics since we moved I don’t know if I want to go down to the storage cage. Yes it takes me about 2 hours to go through all the packed boxes but it convenient having them in the spare room. The storage cage is in a concrete carpark with no seating and bad lighting, reality is I’m not going to want to go down there just to find fabric. Until I know exactly how many small storage tubs I have I can’t look at shelving for them. I’m happy to stack them in the corner for the time being. I am going to sort them properly which I never did before. I have culled some fabrics from them (and culled a heap when packing) but I know there is more I can cull and give away. The dryer is taking up space but until Covid eases off a bit I’m reluctant to have strangers come to our house to pick it up. Once again I will work around it. I move my chair from the study to my sewing table. We used to have 2 chairs but the one in the study was partially broken so we didn’t move with it. Sticking with minimalism I only want one chair as I’m the only one ever using it but I want to be able to move it between the spare room and lounge easily without chipping the walls so I need to move things about a bit.

I haven’t given myself a time frame to get all this done. Looking at things clearly I have a starting point now and clear tasks that I can do when I get a chance. Seeing the tasks broken down makes it less overwhelming. I’ll do posts on each individual areas once I am fully happy with them or maybe even progress updates depending on how long it takes. My craft areas are a mess and to be honest I still don’t know how much I have kept until I sort it all out.

Let the fun begin!

Cassiy

Advertisement

Waste Not And Waste Not Everyday

Some things jump my blogging queue as I can’t wait to talk about them and these 2 books fall into that category.

Waste Not and Waste Not Everyday are by Erin Rhoads aka The Rogue Ginger. Full honesty I had never actually heard of Erin until I saw these books advertised in an email from a book shop last month. I’m so glad I decided to read that email and purchase these books. Both books I couldn’t put down once I started reading them. As the names suggest the books are about reducing your waste both at home, work and when you are out.

Waste Not was the first book Erin wrote. Sometimes you read a book or see a program on to tv about the impact your waste is having on the environment and the way the story teller gets their message across to you is by making you feel guilty about what you are currently doing. This book is the opposite. Erin makes it clear don’t ever feel guilty about things you have done in the past, if you can’t do everything the books says or if you do make changes that from time to time you can’t follow those practices for whatever reason. Her big message is just try to do what you can when you can.

The book explains why it is important for people to reduce their waste. Some reasons you might already know, others you may not have thought of before. The book then goes through small changes you can make such as swapping out different plastic items for more sustainable options. A lot of what is in the book and Erin mentions its herself is going back to living more like the way our grandparents lived. Shifting our mindset away from using disposable items all the time and using more reusable and recyclable items. Trying to fix items before throwing them out, thinking before purchasing. It is very much the simple living, frugal living even minimalism concept. The book is full of information on where to find sustainable items and recipes on how to make things at home such as cleaning and beauty products. Although I have been lapsed with my simple living lifestyle in recent years I thought I knew a lot but this book has opened my eyes up even more to ideas to try including wanting to make my own deodorant which isn’t hard.

Waste Not Everyday is like a mini version of its older sibling. It has 365 ideas to try to reduce your waste. Most of it is covered in the main book but this is like bite size grabs. It isn’t a waste to read and I am glad I got it. There are some recipes that weren’t in the main book. Erin emphasises that you can show others by your actions ways to reduce your waste but you shouldn’t force it upon them. It is like anything someone won’t change their ways unless they want to. This book could be a nice little gift you could give someone to hopefully spark their interest in reducing their waste. Both books are really easy to read but this one you could easily just read a couple of ideas at a time. Digest what it says, think about ways you could incorporate things into your life and go back to read more when you are ready.

We are living in unprecedented times at the moment. Some suggestions in the books you can’t do at the moment due to Covid. Coffee vendors won’t accept reusable coffee cups at the moment for example. It is one of those times Erin mentions don’t feel bad if you can’t do it right now. I think now is the perfect time to read these books. Maybe you can try some of the recipes in the books to make products at home to save going to the shops. Look at what you are putting in your rubbish bin, it is extra stuff due to Covid such as coffee cups or plastic straws or are these things you normally throw away that you could make changes to move away from. We will get back to normal life after all this, what would you like to include in your new normal?

I’m putting my hand up and saying I’m embarrassed at how much I have thrown out around our move and I still have stuff to go. In previous posts I have mentioned how much I have sold or given away but sadly there has been a lot gone to landfill. I am also struggling with wanting to move away from some disposable plastics but having OCD issues. I haven’t figured out how I am going to stop taking my sandwich to work in a zip lock bag but eat it without physically touching the bread as I don’t touch my food directly if I’m not at home. Unfortunately I can’t stop eating sandwiches so that isn’t an option. There are a few other OCD issues I’m trying to find a work around for. Both books have been thought provoking. I have ideas ticking away in my head now. Reading the books I’d put them down to google an idea I just read. I discovered a bulk goods store which is accessible by public transport from near my house which I didn’t even know existed. Post Covid I would like to go visit it. This morning on Ravelry I found a pattern for a dusting brush head after last Sunday buying Mr StitchNSew a dusting wand similar to what he saw on tv but this one only had disposable heads. Some changes are easy to make whilst other changes are harder but I’m going to try because that is all I can do.

Cassiy

Digital Declutter Challenge – Part 2

This is part 2 of my 3 part series on my Digital Declutter challenge. You can read part 1 here.

One of the biggest problems faced during the challenge is what to do with the extra time you now have that would normally spending using the digital mediums. One of the reasons we use so much digital mediums is to fill in time. The author Cal suggests before the challenge think ahead and plan out what you would like to do. The book has lots of examples of activities others who have done the challenge took part in during their challenge. I’m a crafter so finding things to do wasn’t such a big deal but I did think about things and decided I would like to

  • Sew gifts or items for around the house
  • Knit and gifts and things for me
  • Spend time blogging and preparing for the blog
  • Exercise more

The Challenge Begins

The night before the challenge begun from the home screen on my phone I removed Instagram and YouTube so I wouldn’t be tempted to look at them. I couldn’t find a way to turn off notifications easily for each one so throughout the month I did get notifications for them but I just ignored them. Mid January I gave up smoking cold turkey. Day 1 of the challenge felt like giving up smoking. I was constantly thinking about the online world. It was like having withdrawals. The home internet went down and I went into a panic even though I didn’t actually need it. I was trying to keep myself occupied but I was surprised at the similarities to giving up smoking.

For the first 10 days or so I was keeping like a diary of activities I did, conversations I had or things I noticed. I’m not a diary person so that novelty factor soon passed and it wasn’t something that I had set out to do for the month so I stopped. As the days passed less time online became my new norm and it didn’t feel like such a big deal anymore. I wasn’t feeling withdrawals, I was getting used to ignoring daily notifications from Facebook or Instagram. My routine changed. I stopped going for my phone if I was out and had time to fill. I started people watching again which is something I had stopped doing. It is interesting just stopping and observing others around you. I would leave the house and not switch the internet on through my phone as I didn’t need it. If anyone really needed to contact me they could send me a text which I could hear without needing to check my phone as it was off silent.

The way I did my craft changed. I was focused more on the gift I was making and the process of it. I actually enjoyed my sewing as I was focused on that and not photographing the steps of it to post on Instagram. I must admit it did feel weird to finish a project and not post a photo of it to Instagram. When I faced challenges in my crafting such as holes in B’s sock normally I would take a photo posting it to Instagram. People really don’t need to see every craft mishap I have. I believe you should post the good and the bad on Instagram as no one is perfect but you don’t need to post everything. I was pleased and proud of the stuff I created, I didn’t need to show others to feel that way.

Looking back at my rules for the month I did adjust things a little. This wasn’t too cheat this was due to things that happened and I needed to be a little more flexible. The biggest was using Messenger to contact B more frequently. We both had personal things happen and Covid hit Australia which impacted both of us so I needed to have more contact with her just to keep us both going. I had 2 friends contact me through instant messaging platforms so I had to briefly use those just to let them know I was ok. I didn’t use the services for anything else other than those, including accepting a friend request from a relative. During my testing lockdown I did order a couple of books online which I wasn’t really supposed to do. Not using this as an excuse but the books were on topics that would help me become more frugal and save money. They weren’t frivolous reads. At times I also googled a few items to learn things so once again it wasn’t frivolous or meaningless internet time. I used YouTube to learn a knitting technique but using that new skill I was able to salvage my knitting project which was a big shawl after I made an error.

Full confession we actually had a disrupted internet connection for most of March. We actually lost our strong wifi connection mid February and full connection wasn’t due to come back until the end of March. Did reduced internet mean that I was cheating? The times I was home and would normally use it we seemed to have wifi so I don’t think so. The times when I was out of the house and would normally scroll through my phone I wasn’t. When I did have access to the internet at home or work I wasn’t rushing to use it. For about 10 days I had to use the internet from my mobile phone at home and I was having to hotspot Mr StitchNSew so he could use it. I did go out and buy a wifi dongle to give us wifi at home only cause it was costing too much as I have very little data included in my mobile plan. It was interesting when I was forced to pay for my internet connection money talked and it made me think double about my internet usage. I never looked at blog posts the week I was using my phone data as it wasn’t a necessity. I think you get into the habit of taking wifi for granted, it is a first world problem.

The most embarrassing observation I discovered was I had forgotten what I routinely buy from the supermarket. For over 5 years I have been doing a weekly grocery shop online which would be delivered. One of the features is that you can see all the items you have purchased before and reorder them. On autopilot I just click away doing my grocery shop in about 10 mins adding the odd thing differently each week as we need it or it becomes on special. Due to Covid I wasn’t able to get deliveries anymore so had to go instore each week to do my shop. I had to look up online what I would normally buy to ensure I didn’t miss anything.

Do I really need an App?

It was interesting to see how much you were encouraged to use the digital world in areas that in previous times you wouldn’t. Just prior to Covid causing the lockout laws for gyms I started at a new gym. The staff kept encouraging me to download their free app and use it around the gym. The gym is my one time a week where I focus just on me. It is my break from the world. Due to work in times past I would need to have my phone near me as I was on call but in recent times I wasn’t and I could leave my phone in my locker. This was before I started the challenge and it was good to be away from it for that short period. I asked my trainer if I really needed the gym app. It was mostly if you wanted to keep track of your progress or review back your performances. I’m not interested in that. My OCD would lead me to become obsessive if I started looking at that. I just want to use the gym equipment and train hard which you can still do without the app. Now due to the lockout laws I might reconsider the app as there are some workouts available through it to do at home but there are also other resources available to get information like this such as Instagram or YouTube and of course my trainer himself as we can still train outside.

In part 3 I will evaluate how I went and discuss changes I am going to make with entering the digital world again

Cassiy

 

 

Digital Declutter Challenge – Part 1

I decided to do one of the exercises in Digital Minimalism which was a Digital Declutter challenge. Originally I was just going to write one post about but it would have been a huge post so I decided to do a 3 part series. I hope after reading it you decide to do your own challenge as I have found it very interesting.

What is a Digital Declutter Challenge?
It is up to each person to decide how long they wish to set the challenge for and what they would like to include in the challenge. Essentially you are taking a break from whatever digital platform or modifying how you use it for the duration of your challenge. It might be particular social media sites, streaming services, some people have even included regular tv watching. Whatever you use in the digital world that you feel perhaps you are using too much of unnecessarily and it is eating away at your time without you even realising it. It is something we are all guilty of. If you read the book you will see more examples from others who have done the challenge.

To be successful in the challenge the author Cal suggests

  1. Setting clear rules and boundaries prior to starting the challenge
  2. Have activities to occupy yourself planned ahead of time and complete the challenge
  3. At the end evaluate how you found the challenge and ease back into the digital world

My 3 part series is based on each of these points.

I decided to do the challenge for the entire month of March so 31 days. I set the following rules

  • No Instagram
  • No Ravelry to look up new patterns for personal use – Gift making patterns acceptable
  • Grocery shopping only on phone
  • Messenger at night only (except Mr StitchNSew)
  • Mobile to be off silent during the day to hear calls and texts
  • Facebook – Only do Spoolette’s page nothing else
  • YouTube – At home only whilst sewing or on p.c unless it was a learning tutorial
  • Blog reading once a week

Some social media was easy for me to give up completely. I didn’t even bother listing some social media sites as I had recently stopped using them. Facebook was a little tricker. I’m an Admin in the Sydney Spoolette’s group which means I have responsibilities as part of that. I would only respond to notifications from that group all other Facebook was out. The phone off silent was a big one as it was to reduce how often I touched my phone during the day to check the screen. At night my phone is on silent to help me sleep. The alarms on your phone still work even if your phone is on silent.

I wrote the rules out so I could refer back to them but to be honest I knew what they were in my head so I didn’t need to look back. It was good to see them clearly before I started. I actually add a couple more bits of detail after I took this pic. I’m a visual person so I need to see things written.

31 day actually seams like a long time ago. When I first contemplated doing this at the back end of February Australia had just recovered from the bushfires and Covid 19 was talked about overseas but not locally. In just a matter of weeks it has changed our country. As I will talk about in part 2 it did change some of my rules a bit.

Cassiy

Digital Minimalism

As you know in Australia this summer we a lot bushfires and drought which meant a lot of people and animals lost both their homes and their lives. It was such a tragic event but the community response to it was amazing. Everyone rallied together particular the craft community to make things to assist those effected. Every time you went on social media you saw something about it whether it be an injured animal or something someone had made. It seemed like all of a sudden everyone was crafting for the animals which was fantastic. I however started to feel guilty that I wasn’t making items. I actually mentioned this to a friend in November and as the bushfire disaster continued the guilt I felt became worse. It got to the point where I discovered in Facebook you could hide posts from your news feed without actually leaving a group and I did that for at least one group so I wouldn’t feel so lousy. I tried to logically tell myself “it is ok not to be making items, you have been making items for years but this summer you need to focus on packing and culling ahead of the move” Even though social media was making feel terrible I strangely kept going on to it out of habit. Silly I know but I repeatedly was putting myself into an optional situation which was having a negative impact on my mental state. Nothing was really making me go on there yet still I did.

In my last post I talked about minimalism in the traditional way of physical things around you. Something I had never really thought of until I came across the book Digital Minimalism was how much we consume in the online digital world. It got me thinking and I realised a few things.

Mr StitchnSew used to say at times that I was addicted to my phone. Before I would deny it and say of course not that is ridiculous. I would consider myself late to social media. I joined Facebook mid 2011. I got an android phone maybe a year or two after that. I would text and use the common apps like Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest plus last year some new ones such as Twitter, Starbucks, Trello and 1 SE. In 2019 I was actually doing a challenge of recording 1 second of my day each day then mashing them up to create a video each month and eventually at the end of the year. I was certainly using my phone a lot more due to that but I had no concept really how often outside that I was using my phone. I know I would play on my phone whilst I was bored, waiting, tired, smoking, any time I had a few minutes or more to kill. I can’t keep still and my phone was what I turned to if I didn’t have craft or if I was too tired for anything which required a lot of brain power. One occasion that comes to mind was one day at work on a smoke break I was a “phone zombie” when a friend walked straight past waiting for me to look up and I never did. When he said hi I replied back without even noticing who it was due to my full focus on my phone as I scrolled aimlessly through it. That incident worried me as I never thought of myself a “phone zombie” until that point. I also thought I was security conscious being constantly aware to what was happening around me at all times, clearly not as it was proved in this instance.  Aside from the apps I use my phone a lot more these days to do tasks that I would traditionally do on a desktop PC out of the convenience that I can do it from my sofa such as my weekly grocery order, checking emails or looking things up on Ravelry. When I got my first mobile phone in 2000 I accidentally kept referring to it as my camera and ironically 20 years on I use the device now more to take photos than to make phone calls. Yes I laugh about it but it also shows we are running around with these complex computers at our fingertips using them 24/7 and we don’t even realise it. I’m guilty of using my phone as my alarm clock so it is pretty much near me from morning to night.

First of all I have to say if you can get your hands on a copy of the book it is worth the read. The book isn’t anti social media it is more about discussing the concept that some social media programs are designed in a way to control our brains so we consume more of it without us even realising it (the attention economy), the impact consuming so much social media is having on our brains and behaviour patterns and strategies to use social media in a productive way where we are in control of our usage and not a slave to it. Whether you believe this or not it is a very thought provoking book. It certainly opened my eyes and got my brain ticking. I certainly was able to relate to a lot of the things that were mentioned in the book including the high usage of social media can have on our mental health. I wasn’t the first person who was getting depressed and anxious whilst using social media, a thing which was meant to make everyone happy and connected. I am also a little bit worried if this is happening to me, someone who is nearly 40 and isn’t consuming social media as much as some people than what is it doing to the younger generation who have only ever known a life with social media? What impact is it having on their brains and social development? Social media and online usage certainly has a place in modern day life but there needs to be a balance so it doesn’t control our lives and that is what this book is about. Full confession this book does use some big words which I had to “Google” to get the meaning of as my physical dictionary is packed away at the moment but it does highlight how we can use the online world efficiently.

Initially I borrowed this book from the library. I don’t really like purchasing minimalist and decluttering books as it kind of defeats the purpose of the concept of having less stuff. Within a week of picking it up from the library I went to my local bookshop and purchased a copy. I want to try some of the exercises in this book and I want to refer back to it at a later point. After getting so much from just the initial few chapters to it was a no brainer to go and buy this book. This is a keeper.

Oh coincidently Green Day has a song “Oh Yeah” which is about social media and falls within the concept of this book which is really interesting.

Cassiy

Flirting With Minimalism

Each person has their own concept or belief of what minimalism means and what it consists of to live a minimalist lifestyle. To be honest when I first heard about it I automatically had the stereotypical image that a “Minimalist Lifestyle” = selling all your possessions and living in tiny house that is kept like it is a showroom for a lifestyle magazine with nothing out of place, that is not my kind of home. Investigating more into it the way I understand it now (and this is just my grasp of the concept) it is about living your life with less stuff and borders along the same concepts of Simply Living where you make use more of things you already have without going out to the shops and continuing to buy more. We are all guilty of owning more stuff than we actually need, often you don’t even realise it. First world problem. I’ll be honest if wasn’t for our move and the need to pack everything in boxes I wouldn’t have had a clue of the amount of stuff around us. I certainly never paid attention to things we used and what we didn’t. I used to be pretty frugal but my simple living ways have lapsed a little in recent years.

Can you be a minimalist and still be a crafter?
I have pondered this idea. Crafters have a stash (insert your preferred craft here) You always have supplies and tools for whichever craft/s you part take in. How many tools or supplies you need on hand is up to you. I know personally I have more than I actually need and that is after I purged heaps. So it is possible to be a minimalist crafter? I think yes but you would have to show a little discipline. You would have to decide on a limit to how big you want your stash of supplies and tools to be and try then to maintain that level so it doesn’t get out of control. Some people could be a minimalist crafter. Certainly knowing all the supplies you have on hand would be more cost effective as you wouldn’t be buying duplicates of supplies you know you have “somewhere” but you can’t locate when you need them so you purchase more.

I know the saying is “a leopard cannot change its spots” but I’m flirting with the idea of a minimalist lifestyle when we move to the new place. I know a new building won’t instantly mean old habits are forgotten but it is a fresh chance to try things. Clutter stresses me out. Too much stuff around me stresses me out. My brain just thinks of it as clutter even if it is useful clutter. I want to have less things around me in every room not just in terms of craft. Less things around gives visual clarity which I like. Less stuff means less to clean, although Mr StitchNSew does most of the cleaning. Less stuff means less options to choose from (I do get overwhelmed with too many options) With less things in cupboards or on shelves it means you can put things away easily without playing a juggling act or having things fall on you as you try and stuff it in. I will be honest unless I can put something away easily in one go than I don’t put it away and it will sit on a bench/table/chair creating another pile which needs to be sorted out at some point. I need to find a better way to handle my stuff and that better way might just be to have less stuff in the first place.

What We Actually Use In Pantry

At the moment our place is about 2/3 packed up. We are not down to just the essentials yet but we are not far off it. It has really shown what little we actually use all the time as most of our stuff got packed early January. After I culled the dry goods pantry I noticed really it was to only about half a dozen storage ingredients plus breakfast stuff that we used regularly. The only packed item we have missed is the carving fork for a roast dinner so we used a regular fork. For crafting I have come up with substitutes for cutting out things like using old fashion scissors instead of rotary cutter. I’m not to get rid of the carving fork or rotary cutter but they are examples of how you can be resourceful and use other things when in a situation of not having the right “tool or gadget” to perform a task. It will be interesting when we unpack to remember what we actually have and to rethink if we actually need it or not. The minimalist concept is very appealing.

Cassiy